Where do I start?

Nichola Magner asked 13 years ago

I really want to learn how to grow, so i got a 3/4 acre field rented, not using all though that would be madness. Its covered in scutch grass and i want to grow flowers and veg and just create a beautiful space. Do not want to spray anything. Am i right in saying i need to plough Oct/Nov, cover as heavily as i can with horse manure and cover with plastic until spring?? Is there anything else i could be doing?

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 6 years ago
The first step is to decide what you want to use the space for. Three-quarters of an acre is 3,000 square metres and a decent allotment is 200 square metres!

There is also the question, if it is rented, of how long you are going to have it. Fruit trees take a few years to grow and fruit, and does the owner think it is okay to plant trees?

You need to take a small piece and make a start, say 10 metres 10metres. The rest of the field can be mown down by some means, brushcutter, mower or tractor. Aim to keep most of it as grass, either mown as a wildflower every two to six weeks or as hay meadow and mown once with a tractor in early July.

On the 100 square metres, you can cut the vegetation down and cover with black plastic or old carpet, horse manure if you wish, or, in future, compost when you have some made. and dig it in spring.

Ploughing the entire area will help in the short-term, but if it is really scutch grass, it will quickly come up again as it is a perennial grass. Other weeds will sprout from seeds in the soil and the ground will be a mass of weeds by mid-summer.

There is a lot of other information at: https://gardenie.wpengine.com/gerrycategory/soil-composition/?id=5638

and  https://gardenie.wpengine.com/gerrycategory/shelter/?id=342